Obituary: Christine A. Kinka

July 29, 1938 – Oct. 8, 2019

Christine Ann Kinka, 81, of Sturgeon Bay died at the Pete and Jelaine Horton Skilled Nursing and Hospice Care Center at Door County Medical Center.

She was born in Chicago, the daughter of Stanley and Helen (Stajkowski) Grabowski. Chris grew up attending St. Mary Magdalene Catholic School in Chicago. She graduated from St. Michael’s High School in Chicago in 1956 and went on to study at Wilson Junior College for teaching.

Chris had an amazing ability to whistle and captured not only the attention of Richard Joseph Kinka, but also his heart. After Richard’s discharge from the Navy, they were married on October 29, 1960, at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Chicago. They moved to Downers Grove, Illinois, where they resided for 30 years. Chris worked as a teacher’s aide, but her primary work was taking care of her family and making a wonderful home. While in Downers Grove, they attended St. Joseph Parish.

They bought a vacation home in Ellison Bay in 1990 and fell in love with Door County. A few years after Rich retired in 1996, they made their permanent home on Glidden Drive in the Town of Sevastopol. They were members of Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Institute.

Chris had great love for the arts. She enjoyed music, making jewelry, mosaics, and also liked going to plays at Peninsula Players Theatre. Chris was a master quilter and co-founded Faithful Circle, a quilt guild in Downers Grove that is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. She was also the co-founder of the Trillium Quilt Club in Sister Bay and a member of Door County Quilters. Her quilts were entered in many national shows and won many ribbons. She was proud to have been published in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Chris also enjoyed gardening and was a member of the Sturgeon Bay Garden Club. She loved Door County for its natural beauty and wildlife.

Her family meant the world to her, and she especially loved spending time with her grandchildren. She would visit her kids and grandkids in Illinois often and loved to travel to California, Arizona and Florida during the winter months. Her favorite times were when the whole family would gather in Door County and she could share everything she loved about the peninsula.

Her love and memory will live on in the hearts of her husband, Richard; three children, Richard T. (Lisa) Kinka of Naples, Florida, Russell Kinka of Lake Villa, Illinois, and Beth (Bill) Hager of Glenview, Illinois; six grandchildren, Richard M. (Sarah), Matthew (Kelly), and Jeffrey Kinka, and Abigail, Audrey, and Ava Hager; one great-grandson, Lucas Kinka; brother, Dr. Leonard (Cathleen) Grabowski of Goleta, California; other relatives; and many dear friends. Chris was preceded in death by her parents.

Her life will be honored with a mass of Christian burial celebrated at 11 am on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Institute, with Fr. Robert Stegmann as celebrant, where she will be laid to rest in the church cemetery. Visitation for family and friends will be held at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of mass. A memorial celebration will be held in Illinois sometime in January of 2020.

Memorials may be given in Chris’s name for Feed and Clothe My People of Door County.

“Our family would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the entire Skilled Nursing Facility staff for the wonderful care given to Chris and all of us during her time with you. You treated her (and us) like family, and we are forever thankful. Also, thank you to the staff of Unity Hospice for the compassionate care given to Chris and our family these past weeks.”

Huehns Funeral Home and Door County Crematory in Sturgeon Bay are assisting the Kinka family. Expressions of sympathy, memories and photos of Chris can be shared through her tribute page at


Feed and Clothe My People

P.O. Box 741, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235

Tel: 920.743.9053


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